Guide Hikes Connect to Nature
In The Maine Woods (1864), Henry David Thoreau writes:
Talk of mysteries! — Think of our life in nature, — daily to be shown matter, to come in contact with it, — rocks, trees, wind on our cheeks! The solid earth! the actual world! the common sense! Contact! Contact! Who are we? where are we?
Before asking the questions “Who are we? Where are we?” Thoreau already provides his readers with the solution to discovering the answers: “think of our life in nature,” He urges the reader to come into contact with nature – to experience the natural world. This interaction with the outdoors can help us build a deeper sense of self and place – hence Thoreau’s final questions are left unanswered to provoke the reader, as if the author is directly telling you “go outside and discover! See yourself in nature, as a part of it!”
In Western Massachusetts we are so fortunate to have easy access to nature in our communities through local trails, nature preserves, and forests. This diversity of options inspires area naturalists and conservation-minded enthusiasts to lead guided walks, hikes, and river paddling trips, teaching the richness of our Hilltown landscapes and biodiversity.
Guided Hike Resources
Looking for a guided hike or walk to join? Many local land trusts and conservation organizations offer guided hikes as a part of their community programs. Here is a short list of area non-profit conservation organizations that lead monthly hikes on local Western Massachusetts Trails:
Excerpt from Learning Ahead: Cultural Itinerary for Western Massachusetts (Seasons: Sept/Oct), a downloadable bimonthly publication produced by Hilltown Families that sheds light on embedded learning opportunities found in cultural resources that exist within the geography, history, and cultural traditions of Western Massachusetts.